“If you don’t know who Lawrence Block is, page down to my previous piece. And if you don’t know who Donald E. Westlake was, get thee to a Googlery. His Parker series – written under the pseudonym Richard Stark – is as strong a collection of hard-boiled crime fiction as you’re ever likely to see,

“If you’ve never heard of Sheldon Lord, Alan Marshall, or Andrew Shaw, you’re probably not alone. They’re the pseudonyms Block and Westlake used when collaborating together on the three “soft-core” books in a collection I stumbled across earlier today called Hellcats And Honeygirls.

“This discovery delights me. I’ve recently begun to collaborate with a group of great young writers on a couple of projects that should be coming out this summer – one noir, one erotica. And I’ve also begun to collaborate more closely with one writer in particular. To the point that we have a plan to write a novel together.

“Now I’m not saying either of us could ever hold a candle to Westlake or Block – though my partner has created a tuff girl called Holly Hellbound. And I know we’re both still learning our craft. But we work well together and we have fun and I can think of worse inspirations than two of American’s greatest storytellers.

“And the thing, the real thing, is that this takes us back to the time when top class writers shared pen names and wrote together without worrying about prestige or art because the things they needed most were to get paid and establish a reputation within the industry. An attitude I think will make a comeback in these exciting electronic times.”

Along with this generous review, Evangeline has reposted a pair of her earlier takes on books of mine. While I can’t imagine you’ll take as much delight in them as I did, they’re worth a look.

Note that the Subterranean Press hardcover edition of Hellcats is out of print, and selling at a premium in the aftermarket. The three individual novels, however, are available as Open Road eBooks: A Girl Called Honey Kindle Nook So Willing Kindle Nook and Sin Hellcat Kindle Nook